I have been wrapping up our second run of paint parties as a class reward for good behavior. For 3 years, I have felt like dealing with behavior has been a major time killer for my art class. Paint party rewards seem to be helping a ton. Class behaviors have improved dramatically. Kids want to paint.
In case you missed my last post about paint parties, here is the run down. We have a rotating Friday at my school; which means Monday classes see me one Friday a month, Tuesdays one Friday a month, and so forth. That means each class sees me one extra time once a month. I use this to my advantage. During the four visits prior to a Friday visit to art, classes earn points (5 possible per day). If they get 15 out of 20 points by their Friday in art, they get a paint party.
Essentially, a paint party is just a paint day, but those don't happen often at my school due to large numbers in the classroom and no running water/sink. Painting all day on one day of the week allows me to set up once and take down once. It makes it easy on me, and keeps it energetic and fast paced for the students.
This go around our theme was outside places. I showed the students a photograph that illustrates atmospheric perspective well. We talk about overlapping, how things look smaller farther away, how the color gets lighter for things farther away. We have had some great discussions after asking the question "Why does the color get lighter in the background?" My older grades which have studied the water cycle usually come to the conclusion that evaporation has something to do with it.
Each table received black, white, and one secondary color of paint. During demonstration, students learned about the tints and shades of values. We started with the sky, and worked our way forward with overlapping since we only have the paper on our tables to clean our brushes with.
Students were allowed to create a painting of any kind of environment they wanted as long as it was outdoors. We even had the opportunity to talk about monochromatic color schemes.
Though this student did not use their color, I love the expressive quality of this painting. Awesome overlapping and rhythm.
This was one of the most rewarding one day assignments I have had in my classroom. What successful rewards do you have for class wide behavior? Please share.